Our Philosophy

Elementary School Counseling services are an integral part of the total school program and complement learning in the classroom. A school guidance program reaches every student and will focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for successful academic achievement, career development, and personal/social growth. Services are child-centered, proactive, and developmental. Our professional school counselors spend their time working directly with students to maximize the benefits every student will receive from the program. This will be accomplished through the use of School Counseling Curriculum, Individual Student Planning, Responsive Services, and System Support. School counseling services are comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, developmental in nature, and intended to enhance the potential of ALL elementary students.

Therefore, as an educational system we believe we can teach all children and all children can learn. We believe accessing knowledge, reasoning, questioning, and problem solving are the foundations for learning in an ever-changing world. We believe education enables students to recognize and strive for higher standards. Consequently, we will commit our efforts to help students acquire knowledge and attitudes considered valuable in order to develop their potential and/or their career and lifetime aspirations.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Student Survey

I've updated the survey I use with my 4-6 graders to assess their knowledge/skill in each competency area of the Montana school counseling standards. Feel free to take a look and make suggestions or comments.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Books Dealing with Grief

These are the books recommended by Jan to Deb to use with her class with a student who lost his dad this past weekend in a car accident. What Color are Tears? (grief workbook for grades k-3) by Marianne Vadawalker Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full Of Memories by Audrey Penn I Miss You by Pat Thomas Saying Goodbye to Daddy (carwreck caused the death) It's more for 3rd/4th, but it might work with your kids. by Judith Vigna

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Educational Philosophy

During Tech Cadre today, we're experimenting with different ways of sharing our educational philosophy...

As school counselors, we need to to more than think outside the box - we need to work together to "build an altogether new structure in which to spur new thinking"


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rudoph Rallies Against Bullying!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Bullying Lesson
Questions for Discussion
by Tanya Kirschman

 Part 1:  “How Can You Overlook That?”

* Did Rudolph’s parents accept him the way he was born?
* How do you think Rudolph felt?
* What do you think his parents should have done when they noticed he was different from other reindeer?
* Might he have felt different about himself if his father had treated him better?

Part 2: “Hermey Doesn’t Like to Make Toys!”

* When the boss says, “Hermey doesn’t like to make toys!” what did the other elves do?
* Did you notice how one elf told the next elf, told the next elf and so on?  What kind of bullying was that an example of?
* How did the boss react when Hermey said he wanted to be a dentist?  Is being a dentist a bad thing?  If not, why do you think the boss wasn’t accepting of that?
* How did Hermey feel when the boss disregarded his interest in dentistry and told him to stay behind and “finish the job or he’d be fired?”
* What is keeping Hermey from becoming a dentist?

Part 3: Reindeer Games

* What did you think or feel when Donner covered Rudolph’s nose (even though Rudolph was saying he didn’t want to)?
* Share how you felt when Donner told his son that self-respect (hiding his nose) was more important than comfort and being who he really was.
* What was the reaction of the other reindeer when they saw Rudolph’s nose glowing?  What kind of bullying did you see and hear? 
* How does it feel to be bullied?
* Was the adult helpful when the bullying happened?
* One of the bystanders tried to help – what did she do?
* If you were a bystander in a similar situation to this one, what would you do?

Part 4: Island of Misfit Toys

* Why did Hermey and Rudolph get along so well?
* What did they decide to do?  Do you think leaving a bullying situation is a good decision?  When would it be good?  When might it be bad?
* How was Yukon Cornelius helpful to Hermey and Rudolph?
* Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon ended up on the Island of Misfit Toys.  Why were the toys not valued and waiting to be given for gifts from Santa?  Is it fair that someone had found something “wrong” or “different” about them and decided they weren’t of value?
* How might a person feel if he or she has a significantly different appearance or ability from that of other people?  What can they do?  What can YOU do if you know that person?

Part 5: “I Knew That Nose Would be Useful Someday”

* How were Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon kind to the misfit toys?  Why do you think they were so kind?
* Yukon and Hermey wanted to stick with Rudolph, even when he warned them that his nose could put them in danger.  Why do you think they said they would stick with him anyway?
* Rudolph eventually grew up and went back home.  Did the reindeer treat him differently?  What happened?  How did he respond?
* Rudolph’s bright and shiny nose and Hermey’s dental abilities turned out to be strengths.  How did they use them to be helpful?  Weren’t they strengths all along?  Why didn’t others notice that?
* Donner and Santa both apologized to Rudolph at the end.  Hermey’s boss also let him do dentistry.  Did these apologies erase how they had been treated from the beginning?
* Did you believe Donner when he said, “I knew that nose would be useful someday”? Why or why not?
* How important is it to be kind to others; regardless of differences OR because we’re all different?
* How much would it have meant to Rudolph or Hermey if even one bystander had stood up for them and told everyone to stop the teasing?
* Do you think it would have been helpful in this story for a bystander – or the targets (Hermey and Rudolph) to tell an adult?  What do you think about that?  How is real life different when it comes to getting an adult for help in a bullying situation?